Sunday, September 25, 2016

Crochet Hook Soft Handle Ergonomic Comparison

Just a quick comparison in hopes it will be of help to crocheters having trouble choosing hooks of the soft handled nature. We're all different, so what works for one person may not work for another. Here's my experience:

I have 3 here all in size J in hopes the larger size is easier to see.

Left to right is Boye, Clover Amour, and Tulip.

Let's start with the head and throat:

The heads on these three are similar. The Boye (left) is a bit more rounded than the other two. The hook I have a problem with on this score is the Tulip (right). If you look closely at the head, it is leaning back a bit. It might be hard to see in the pic. What is happening by this is that the "chin" is less angular, and the throat less defined, which for my hands creates a snagging problem when I am exiting the loops on my hook.

The tapering of the throat is about the same on these 3. Clover might have more of a taper.

Shaft: The shaft length is about the same. Tulip just a smidgen longer.

Handle and Grip:

  • Stickiness: I'm not talking about ewww gross sticky yucky, but about how strongly the soft handle stays in contact with your fingers, how grippy it is. Boye is the stickiest, followed by Tulip. Both Boye and Tulip have a bit of a slant for the thumb to rest on. You can really see it on the Tulip. Clover Amour is flat on this portion of the handle and is least stickiest. That being said, it still has good grip. Just not as good as the other 2.
  • Size: Clearly in the pics Boye is the big beefy one, with a nice bulbous action going on at the tail end. Not only is it larger in diameter but also it is longer than the others. Clover Amour and Tulip taper down towards the tail end and are shorter. This is where Boye captured my heart. This beefy shape and extra length is the most comfortable for my thumb, fingers, and hand. When the tail ends are thinner/shorter, the area around the outside of my hand - down the pinkie side - gets crampy, so the fatter/longer the handle, the better for me.
  • Markings: Clover Amour has markings for size that are engraved into the handle. I cannot imagine it wearing down to the point where you can't see it, but though it probably won't ever wear off, it isn't actually the easiest to see. The Amour hooks are in different colors according to size, so that helps. The Tulip has a printed label that is extremely easy to read, but I wonder if it'll wear off eventually. I cannot say. There is no color coding here. The whole set is grey (or pink if you get the special set). The Boye is a fail on this front. I have been using the size K (not shown) for a couple days and the printed size is already getting rubbed off. Like the Amour, these Boye hooks are all in different colors according to size, so that is beneficial, but it is still not ideal in terms of knowing what hook is what size. 
Just a side note: These are all J, but Boye's J is 5.75mm, whereas Clover's and Tulips J's are 6mm, so there are some sizing differences within brands. 

Final Feelings:

Clover Amour had been my favorite for ages UNTIL i needed a larger hook recently, which led me to buy the Boye at Michael's. After using for about 5 minutes, I immediately ordered a whole bunch of other sizes from Walmart online where they were on sale at $2-3 apiece. They are my new favorite though the size markings will all probably wear off quickly. I'll probably make a little chart of what color is what size that I can refer to in future.

Hope thats helpful to someone! Tell me your experience if you like!


  1. I have the tulip etimo rose set and love it, although, I did get it on a really good sale. I have heard a lot of people complain about the hooks being too shallow but for some reason they work great for me. I can work faster with them. I don't have any other hooks with soft handles. All my other hooks are plain boye hooks which is what I learned with. I'm interested in trying the boye hooks with the soft handles now. Oh btw, I finally finished that scarf I was working on almost 2 years ago! Remember the Meandering Rib Scarf by Lion brand? I found it and frogged it and started over and now it is finally finished! My husband loves it.

    1. Oh good job finishing that scarf! Yes i remember it - i never finished mine, in fact just a couple months ago i frogged the small part i had been hanging onto. Such a nice pattern but other things come up. Glad the tulips work for you! I think i'm going to sell mine at some point, as i just dont use them its silly for me to keep them.